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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Miami Heat Preview

After a gut-wrenching loss, the Blazers look to take advantage of Miami’s slide.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers (24-29) vs. Miami Heat (34-17)

February 9, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. PT
Blazers injuries: Rodney Hood (out), Zach Collins (out), Jusuf Nurkic (out), Hassan Whiteside (probable), Nassir Little (out), Anfernee Simons (doubtful)
Heat injuries: Jimmy Butler (questionable), Tyler Herro (questionable), Kyle Alexander (out), Meyers Leonard (out)
How to watch on TV: NBCSNW
How to stream: Blazer’s Edge Streaming Guide
Radio: 620 AM
SBN Affiliate: Hot Hot Hoops

An injury-devastated Blazers squad looks to take down the Southeast Division leader and their new look.

The last game will stick in the minds of Portland fans for a long time. A highly contested game against the Utah Jazz was wrought with questionable referee decisions, the two largest being Royce O’Neale preventing Anfernee Simons from landing properly (resulting in a concussion for Simons) and a clear goaltend by Rudy Gobert on a Damian Lillard layup with under thirty seconds to play that was not called. The Blazers fell 117-114 despite Lillard’s 42-point heroics. Bojan Bogdanovic had 27 for the Jazz.

The Heat also fell in their last contest, as their depth was tested with several players sent out at the deadline. Overall, the team swapped Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson in exchange for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder. With the new players not playing until they face the Blazers, Miami fell to the Sacramento Kings 105-97. Bam Adebayo had 26 for the Heat, while Sacramento got 23 from Bogdan Bogdanovic.

What to watch for

  • Get the team some rest. Portland was down to seven active players against the Jazz with Simons’ injury and Trevor Ariza’s ejection for arguing with the referees. Lillard played all 24 minutes in the second half. Three games in four nights has the team exhausted, especially with the travel. The bench needs to step up and be strong to allow the starters some badly needed recovery time.
  • Battle Bam Adebayo. The center that Miami decided to keep in the offseason has paid off for the team with his first All-Star nod. While he has been strong, even off the dribble, the Orlando Magic were able to contain him recently with frequent pressure outside the paint. With the Heat still working through integrating their new players, and none of them being true offensive threats, the Blazers have a chance to force the game into the hands of Miami’s talented but inexperienced scorers.
  • So much for another reunion. Hassan Whiteside is probable with a leg contusion after missing the game in Utah, but Meyers Leonard will miss the game with a persistent ankle injury. This would have been Leonard’s first game in Portland since he was traded, along with Moe Harkless, for Whiteside in the offseason.

What they’re saying

Leonard Kreicas of Hot Hot Hoops looked at three-point expert Duncan Robinson and his other skills.

Among qualified players Robinson tops 259 of them as a Pick & Roll Ball Handler with 1.55 points per possession and 100 percentile. The tweet below shows his chemistry with Bam Adebayo as Bam rolls to the rim.

Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald asks what the veteran Iguodala can bring to the Heat.

But the Heat did its research, and the organization believes Iguodala can still have a big impact with his versatility on both ends of the court.